Almost every part of our planet has some New Year’s traditions – some are unusual, others are familiar to more than one place but almost all make the Holiday Season end better.
Some New Year’s traditions from Ireland are probably found in other parts of the world, but we’re going to bet that you’ll find some unusual Irish traditions that celebrate the passing of the year.
Before moving forward, did you know that people send gifts on New Year’s eve, not just on Christmas? If you have a friend or relative who wants to learn Irish, you can always send him any of the Bitesize products as gifts! Just opt in for this option when buying.
New Year’s Traditions from Ireland
Some people would say that the following New Year’s traditions are only found in Ireland. Is that so? Tell us in the comments!
Clean, clean, clean!
A few centuries ago, there was an Irish tradition that encouraged people to have a spotless clean house before the New Year’s eve party (or celebration). That’s why, most Irish people will clean their house thoroughly before passing in the new year!
Irish New Year’s superstitions
Other Irish New Year’s traditions involved chasing the bad luck from our lives and honouring those who past away but still have a place in our hearts. To chase away the bad luck, people would make some “Christmas bread” and used portions of it to knock on the house walls and doors.
Honouring the dead is an Irish New Year’s tradition that’s kept to the word. Irish people will often add an extra plate and place at the dinner table on New Year’s eve or they will unlatch the house door.
Celebrating the year’s change
A really interesting Irish New Year’s tradition would involve people opening the back door of their house just before midnight to “let the Old year out” and opening the front door to “let the New Year in”. While opening the front door at midnight, people will also greet their neighbours and wish them a Happy New Year!
Do you want to know how to wish someone a Happy New Year in Irish? Watch the following Irish pronunciation video and you’ll find out!
How to say Happy New Year in Irish
New Year’s even in Ireland for single people
People who are alone on New Year’s even should place springs of holly, ivy leaves and mistletoe under their pillow. The tradition states that it will help them dream the person who they would marry.
The New Year’s traditions in Ireland also encourage people to show their family and close friends how much they meant for them by offering small but thoughtful gifts.
Older New Year’s Traditions from Ireland
On New Year’s day itself, people, most often than, the women folk, visited their relatives, quite often relatives you would only visit about once a year. This was with the hopes that you would get the new year off to a good start and not fall out with your relatives.
For Catholics, New Year’s day was also the Feast of the Circumcision of Christ up until 1960, so therefore it was an obligation to attend Mass.
The day was celebrated with a large dinner and no work was done.
Other New Year’s traditions from Ireland would involve cleaning the dishes so Cú Chulainn would leave treats or taking out all the purses and wallets from the house just before midnight and bringing them back in just after midnight so people won’t have money trouble in the New Year.
We’re sure that not all the above New Year’s traditions are celebrated only in Ireland and we couldn’t possibly say which ones have made their way over the centuries. Why don’t you tell us in the comments? Do you know any of the above New Year’s traditions from Ireland, do you have others you’d like to share?